Friday, October 27, 2017

Seven Hundred Eighteen

October 27, 2017
7.02 Miles in 1:08:49
Mood: Starting well, finishing less well...also it was very cold.
Soundtrack: Hop Along "Painted Shut" / Indigo Girls "Swamp Ophelia" / First Aid Kit "Stay Gold"

My weather app said that the temp this morning as I left the house was 23 but it "felt like" 17. I don't know how they figure "Feels Like" temperatures, but I will say it was stinking cold. I left a little late this morning just because I was trying to work myself up to get out into the chill. I've faced many colder runs that this, but this was the first run that actually felt like a winter run that I've had since probably March. Somehow I get used to this stuff, but the first time is always tough. I kept thinking it'd be so nice to just have yesterday morning's weather in the 50s.

I pushed through the initial cold and actually had a really great start to the run. Considering this was my second straight day, my legs felt pretty good. However, about two thirds of the way through, my blood sugar was feeling a bit low...this always feels the worst when I'm running because it's hard to sustain any kind of running momentum, I end up having to just walk for awhile. I ate the portable package of almond butter that I almost always run with for these situations, and walked for a good bit, trying to start running a few times, but never really able to really get going. Finally, I was able to put together a decent half mile at the end, but my legs had gotten super cold, so it was hard to get back to feeling good and moving well. I ended up with an average pace and decent mileage, but the end was definitely a disappointment. Still, this run pushed me over 100 miles for October, extending my streak to 46 consecutive 100 mile months.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Seven Hundred Seventeen

October 26, 2017
7.88 Miles in 1:17:23
Mood: Being a sunrise enthusiast.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast / Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / The Allusionist

Getting running 45 minutes before the sun rises can be a bummer, and I look forward to falling back to standard time so that I'll have more light in my mornings. However, if there is one benefit, it's that I get to experience every moment of the sunrise, and some of them lately have been amazing. Thursday morning was another one of those glorious ones, and I went a little picture crazy with it, but I mean...LOOK! Experiencing a quiet morning with the sun rising like this is one of the best parts about early morning running, and I truly love it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Seven Hundred Sixteen

October 24, 2017
7.25 Miles in 1:12:54
Mood: Slogging my way through.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / Manchester Orchestra "A Black Mile To The Surface"

I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep going on this run. It was a struggle every step of the way, and my pace was unbearably slow and my feet felt heavy. Also it was cold, so my leg muscles didn't warm up until I was two thirds of the way through. Honestly this one was pretty discouraging, but I was proud of myself at the end for fighting through to get a solid number of miles even it it was a really slow pace. And even a rough morning of running is a pretty great way to spend a morning. Plus, I got this cool photo of the trail on the south side of the Littleton Museum Farm with the sun poking through the trees, so all in all, it was a plus.

Seven Hundred Fifteen

October 22, 2017
8.00 Miles in 1:14:13
Mood: Chilly to start, warm to finish
Soundtrack: Manchester Orchestra "A Black Mile To The Surface"

We are heading into the late fall when there are fewer beautiful leaves clinging to the trees and the morning sometimes start out below freezing. It's not my favorite time of year anymore, but it's still pretty and the cool air can get your feet moving quickly in an effort to stay warm. I took one lap around Wash Park wearing a hoodie, but I dropped it off back at the car for the final two laps as the sun warmed me up enough to decide I no longer needed it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Seven Hundred Fourteen

October 20, 2017
7.76 Miles in 1:15:46
Mood: Gravity can be bad, and the world is getting spooky.
Soundtrack: What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law / 99% Invisible / Cloud Cult "Love"

About thirty seconds into my run, I was hitting the pavement again. It was exactly five weeks ago that I smashed up my knee and scraped off skin that is only just now healing fully, and today I fell about 20 yards from where I fell last time. This time it was due to a sizable hole in the lawn rather than a crack in the sidewalk, but I skidded along the pavement all the same. Thankfully I fell slightly more gracefully this time and hurt myself much less intensely so the recovery will not take another five weeks. What's weird is I had a premonition as I was getting ready that I might have an accident today. I don't think it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it is a little weird.

As for the run, It actually went quite well after the first minute. Today is the first day where it has felt like Halloween season. There are still leaves on many trees, but quite a few have fallen, and the barren trees are beginning to dominate the landscape. Also, the Streets of Southglenn is hosting a Trick or Treat street event this evening, and as I ran past this morning, the fountain and surrounding trees were lit up to be spooky. It actually looked cool enough that I decided to use this photo rather than yet another one of autumn leaved trees. It also felt kinda spooky this morning, as I passed by quite a few houses, and many were decorated for Halloween. I always find it weird the people who set up their front yards to look like cemeteries, complete with gravestones. I just don't get it. I'm not a Halloween junkie by any means, although I do enjoy trick or treating with my kiddos, but the folks that go all out for it weird me out a little. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Seven Hundred Thirteen

October 18, 2017
7.27 Miles in 1:11:56
Mood: Glorious sunrise and annoying tech
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / Ambient Highline Canal Trail Sounds

Most of this day has been somewhat gray and gloomy, but it didn't start that way. For a brief few minutes at dawn, the sky was on fire causing the whole world to turn a warm shade of pink. It was amazing, one of those sunrises that I only see maybe once or twice a year, but I treasure it every time it happens. The picture above gives you a little idea, but it was much more intense in person.

Then ten minutes later, it was as if it never happened. The whole world was gray and cloudy, and it was as if the vibrant colors that just hit were a secret being held only by those lucky enough to get up early in the morning.

So the sunrise was cool, but halfway through this run my wireless earbuds went rogue. They unsynced from each other, and then while I was trying to fix it, they unsynced from my phone. Rather than trying to figure it out, I just tossed them in my pocket and enjoyed the sounds of the world. It's a little more boring that having a podcast or music album to listen to, but you get more out of your morning hellos to fellow trail users and there is something satisfying about hearing the crunch of the gravel beneath your feet and something freeing about having nothing in your ears.

That said, I figured out how to re-sync my earbuds, and I will definitely be using them on my next run.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Seven Hundred Twelve

October 15, 2017
7.77 Miles in 1:13:31
Mood: Updates continue to fail me, but fall doesn't.
Soundtrack: Blind Pilot "And Then Like Lions" and "We Are The Tide" and "3 Rounds And A Sound"

Joining the hit parade of things getting updated and then proceeding to not work as well, I give you the Nike Plus running app. They updated recently, and now there is a tendency for my music to not work quite right while I'm running, or worse, I'll start a run and it doesn't actually start on the app. This particular app hiccup hit this Sunday's morning run as I ran almost half a mile before looking at my app and noticing that it wasn't tracking my mileage. So I actually went over 8 miles on this run, but the app malfunctioned and I only ended up with 7.77 officially. That is slightly irritating.

Other than that app error, it was a pretty spectacular morning, though. It began quite chilly, but the sun warmed me up fairly quickly and Wash Park was alive with fall color. This particular tree on the edge of Smith Lake was lit up like it was on fire. The photo does a pretty good job of showing this, but in person it was even more vibrant. I'll be sad when all the leaves finally do fall and this season of color gives way to the dead of winter.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Seven Hundred Eleven

October 13, 2017
7.46 Miles in 1:14:02
Mood: Sadly nowhere near a 7-11.
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse "Strangers to Ourselves" and "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank"

If I had been thinking, I would have taken a picture of a 7-11 for today's photo seeing as how this is post 711. The only problem with that is that I have no idea where the nearest 7-11 is from my house, and it'd probably be a bit of a trip. Plus, I'm going to take as many photos of October trees as I can until they are no longer beautiful.

It's Friday the 13th, and while many fear this day, it usually feels like it goes pretty well for me. I tend to like this allegedly bad luck's a Friday after bad can it be? Monday the 13ths seem much worse to me.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Seven Hundred Ten

October 12, 2017
7.08 Miles in 1:09:38
Mood: Enjoying fall, even as I know it's fleeting.
Soundtrack: The After Disaster / The Bill Simmons Podcast / 99% Invisible / The Allusionist

October is providing me with some seriously beautiful photos. Man, I love fall. The colors everywhere make the mundane pretty and the beautiful transcendent. I have mostly been keeping to the Highline Canal because it's safe and pretty and it's flat so I have to run up and down fewer hills. Also, it's going to dump snow on us in a serious way eventually, and there will be months where it is inaccessible, so I'm enjoying it while I can. Winter is coming.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Seven Hundred Nine

October 10, 2017
7.12 Miles in 1:09:28
Mood: A love-hate relationship with snow. (But mostly hate)
Soundtrack: The Adventure Zone / 99% Invisible / The Bill Simmons Podcast

My wife keeps trying to get me to think that snow is good. I believe that I will always hate it, but I will begrudgingly say that it can be quite pretty from time to time. We had our first snowfall of the season on Monday, so I awoke to my Tuesday morning run with the autumn world covered in a beautiful white blanket. Changing leaves interspersed with snow and brilliant morning sunlight makes for some pretty spectacular photos, so I stopped a bunch this morning to take it all in with my camera.

Although it was super pretty, it was also 26 degrees when I left my house this morning, so in that regard snow still sucks. However, I bundled up in a hoodie and never really felt all that cold. I'll be thankful when warmer temps return later this week, but I have to admit, I did enjoy the beauty I saw this morning, even if the snow that caused it still is not my friend.

Seven Hundred Eight

October 8, 2017
7.06 Miles in 1:09:05
Mood: Exploring a weird Western Slope town with a healthy dose of glorious nostalgia.
Soundtrack: Bright Eyes "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" and "Fevers and Mirrors"

The family took a mini-vacation this weekend, so I awoke to find my Sunday morning running opportunity in suburban Grand Junction, Colorado. I didn't really have any idea what I would find, but I set out moving south at 6AM to see what I could see.

As I often do when I'm running in an unfamiliar place, I used Pokemon Gyms as an interesting site locator, as the gyms are usually placed in areas where more compelling local landmarks can be found. Using that method, I quickly found Rocket Park. It was still dark when I first arrived, and I could see the rocket pictured above, but it was very dark so I couldn't get a great view of it. I couldn't make out any colors, but I had a picture in my mind of what I was looking at based on my childhood.

When I was a kid, we had a rocket just like this in a park that I would frequent. It had a slide coming off the third level and it was just as awesome as it was dangerous. This was the 80's and apparently no one sued municipalities for putting death traps in reach of children in those days, so we happily climbed all over this thing, and the more daring/stupid of us would climb around on the outside of the rocket, as it was rather easily accessible. Seeing as how America has become more litigious and less inclined to provide precarious play opportunities to children, this is no longer available as a play structure.

In the park I grew up, the rocket was taken away, which just stinks. Grand Junction had a much better method to deal with retiring this equipment. Instead of having it hauled away as scrap, they posted it up on a pole as a park decoration and literally renamed the park "Rocket Park". I happily had all sorts of nostalgia flowing as I passed this place. As soon as I saw it, I knew it'd be the photo for this run, even though that meant that I'd have to adjust my run to arrive back at this park when the sun had risen high enough to provide light for a photo.

The rest of my run took me through nice neighborhoods, a terrible rocky path along a human built stream, a busy thoroughfare, and a trailer park. Grand Junction has some seriously diverse places built right next to each other.

However, the goofiest thing about Grand Junction is how many fractions can be found on their streets. I spent a good portion of my run speeding along 28 1/4 road. Also, my aunt's house has a street number of 578 1/2. Her full address has not one but two fractions in it. It's ridiculous. The concept is that each road number is exactly a mile from each other. I guess they use it to more efficiently grid the city. Perhaps that is a good idea in theory, but in practice it leaves a lot to be desired, which is a euphemistic way of saying it's dumb. But they do have Rocket Park, so I forgive them.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Seven Hundred Seven

October 5, 2017
8.32 Miles in 1:19:16
Mood: Don't upgrade me, bro.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies On Broadway" / Bright Eyes "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning"

I think I've come to realize that the word "upgrade" means something different to computer designers than it does to normal people. Normal folk hear the word upgrade and think that it's something new and improved with thought going into it to make it better. I'm pretty sure computer designers consider the word upgrade to mean..."Here is the latest thing we pooped out. It hasn't been tested enough and it will probably not work the way you want it to, but it's newer than anything else we have made, so it's an "upgrade" to what you had.

I'm dealing with faulty upgrades all over the place. My work just "upgraded" to the newest version of Microsoft Office and it's an abomination. My phone was just "upgraded" to iOS 11, and it's a disaster. And worst of all, with the new iOS, the Podcast App was "upgraded" and it now is practically unusable. I'm getting really sick of computer folks "fixing" things with "upgrades".

Fortunately, my legs have not been upgraded at all and continue to work as I would like them to work. I had a glorious morning run despite being annoyed with my upgraded phone. October is one of the very best months to run because of all the leaves changing colors, so I found myself stopping and taking pictures of all sorts of stuff. It was really pretty, which I was worried it might not be as when I started out early this morning, it was like I was running through a cloud. It was misting and dreamlike. Not quite foggy, but definitely not clear. I was worried it would just be a gray and gloomy morning, but the fall colors made it spectacularly colorful even without the bright sun.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Seven Hundred Six

October 3, 2017
7.63 Miles in 1:14:05
Mood: A little bummed out, but running it out.
Soundtrack: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Greatest Hits" / Tom Petty "Wildflowers"

Monday was pretty rough. I woke up to hear about a guy who shot up a country music concert in Las Vegas and killed over 50 people then that afternoon came news that Tom Petty had a heart attack and died. Bummer of a Monday, so when I awoke Tuesday, I needed to run to get some of the icky feelings out.

I pulled out some Tom Petty to listen to because he was great and I needed to be reminded of just how great. After listening this morning turns out I was right, he was great. It was good to listen to his music this morning in remembrance.

Today's photo comes from a pretty wacky tree that is half bright red and half green right now. I'm not sure I've ever seen a tree quite so oddly colored. I liked it.

Seven Hundred Five

October 1, 2017
7.63 Miles in 1:07:20
Mood: Happy Birthday to me!
Soundtrack: First Aid Kit "The Big Black and the Blue" / Hootie & The Blowfish "Fairweather Johnson"

God hooked me up with a beautiful morning for my 41st Birthday. The sun was out, the weather was gorgeous, and Wash Park was the perfect level of busy. Too much and it feels crowded, too few and it feels empty, but on this Sunday Morning there was just the perfect amount of folks circling the park on the running track. The result of all this perfection was a really fast pace. I finished my run averaging 8:49 miles which is the fastest I have gone in a very long time. It felt amazing, and as I left I was looking forward to the Broncos-Raiders game that afternoon (Which the Broncos won 16-10). If you're going to turn 41, this was a pretty good way to do it.